Perceptions of service quality and satisfaction of High Performance Programmes (HPP): a case study of a comprehensive university in south africa
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Sport is a multi-billion dollar industry that has become an important marketing tool to attract a higher calibre of students to universities. Students do not only consider the educational value a university can offer but also what it can offer in terms of advancing their sporting achievements and their sporting careers. High performance programmes (HPP) which include superior facilities, high quality coaching and management staff, educational subsidies, body/health conditioning facilities as well as supportive staff for the purpose of driving and maintaining a high calibre of development are required to assist students in meeting their sporting aspirations. The aim of this study was to gain constructive insights regarding perceptions of service quality and satisfaction of the different member associates of the High Performance Programmes (HPP) of Rugby, Hockey, Soccer, Netball, Athletics, Rowing and Cricket at a comprehensive university in South Africa (SA). A concurrent mixed method approach was used to collect data. Ko and Pastore's (2005) Scale of Service Quality in Recreational Sports (SSQRS) was used to collect the quantitative data from one hundred and nineteen (n=119) first team players. Qualitative data was collected through semi-structured interviews with the respective sport managers (n=7) and team captains (n=7) within each sport programme. Quantitative data was analysed using the statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS), whereas the qualitative data were analysed using the Atlas.ti software package. The results from the study revealed that the service quality of the HPP ranged from moderate to high indicating that some dimensions required attention. The study provided useful insights regarding service quality which could assist the management of the HPPs in developing effective strategies to maintain and improve the quality of their services.